Marta Colombo

My studio is my… My studio, to me, is a physical embodiment of an Aperol Spritz with olive, on top of being an environment of relaxation. It is the place where I can read, think, experiment and deliver results with full concentration. It is the place where I invite colleagues to reflect collectively with exchanges on art and aesthetics. In the studio, I am able to develop my work professionally, fueled with great passion.

What I do in one sentence: My work stands in the intersection of multiple fields: between drawing, space, sculptural processes, and performative practices.

Why I didn’t get a proper job: Yes, such scenarios are still being rendered as unfortunate even nowadays. But as we all know, a working artist is a real job, just like many other self-employed and sole proprietors. Oftentimes, the work is even more time-intensive and, in my opinion, more “system-relevant” than some other jobs. Artists are cultural entrepreneurs and do deserve decent working conditions. Art plays an important role in our society. It is certainly a pity that, for example, for organisers, paying artists exhibition fees is still not the norm. I am an artist, because I love the process of artistic creation and working in my studio all too much. It is difficult for me to be as enthusiastic about something else, let alone investing a similar amount of time and energy.

An artwork I dream of and I would get accomplished if space, time and money were abundant: I would like to occupy a factory building somewhere (preferably in Berlin Oberschöneweide) and use it as a backdrop for space-related installations and participatory experiments. I would love to realize the installations in cooperation with colleagues of other different disciplines, also with the residents of the neighborhood/district. I imagined a vision in the format of a temporary art lab and creative center. Where the focus is on researching and exploring contemporary and participatory artistic approaches, and formulating digital-analog artistic futures.

Why I do what I do: Otherwise I would be bored! Since childhood I had really enjoyed drawing and collages, which propelled me to make that conscious decision of studying art. I attended the Medardo Rosso Art High School At Lake Como, further on I studied at the respective municipal art academies (Brera and Complutense) in Milan and Madrid. It was in Dusseldorf where I completed my Master at the Peter Behrens School of Arts. I can say that I had always been honest with my inner artistic drive, letting it guide my path of growth as an artist. Great fun for me comes from touching the materials, discovering and experimenting spatially with endless combinations of creative strategies.

Artists, I have on my watch list (and why): There are many colleagues whose work I deeply appreciate, for different reasons. However, female artists particularly fascinate me. Especially when we refer to the obstacles women artists have to face in the contemporary art scene and market, (according to KSK figures, the average income of male artists between 2013 and 2019 was about 20 to 40 percent higher than that of female artists) who also face stereotypical social expectations of fulfilling work-family-life balance. Among my fellow artists, I admire, to name a few, the works of Artemisia Gentileschi, Louise Joséphine Bourgeois, Rebecca Horn, Carla Accardi, Hannah Höch, Valie Export, Isa Melsheimer, Jorinde Voigt, Cristina Galli, Eva Berendes, Johanna Schwarz, Gabi Schillig, and Renate Neuser.

I am afraid of the potential limit/restriction my profession might face due to economic constraints. If I do not have enough time for the essential investments that will lead to my artistic growth: reading, researching, experimenting, peer exchanges and network building, exhibition visits… Well let’s say the lack of such will definitely impact my future work.

I know that a work of art is finished when I tell myself: “YES, done! Now stop with it!” In another way, when I feel it has achieved the perfect balance between content and aesthetics. If this balance can be perceived, I also discuss it with various peers from my immediate environment – almost always with my husband, who comes from a completely different professional field. The interdisciplinary exchange is definitely beneficial for me! When the time comes, I sign the work and have it professionally photographed. (A big thanks to Roland Baege and Francesca Ióvene for their great photos!)

How I want to be buried resp. words I want to be written on my tombstone: She loved the sun.